Two German Architectures 1949-1989

Living and Leisure

In the decades following World War II, both in the Fedral Republic and in the GDR, the main task of architecture was to relieve the shortage of housing – with speed – to provide new homes for the millions of displaced persons and those who had lost their houses and flats in the bombing raids. Initially both states continued in the vein of the experiences gained from social housing in the 1920s and 1930s, only soon to go their distinctly different architectural ways, as a result of different modes of production, but also diverging architectural paradigms. In the beginning, the dominant model in the East was the compact urpan complex, while the West preferred ensembles of free-standing linear blocks, and high-rises as urban landmarks. Both countries favoured mass housing in multi-storey buildings. In the Federal Republic, a great number of single-family and modest terraced houses were built outside the cities.

Mass Housing

Residential towers 'Romeo and Juliet', Stuttgart; 1954 – 1959; architect: Hans Scharoun

Residential towers 'Romeo and Juliet', Stuttgart

Stuttgart, 1954–1959
Architect: Hans Scharoun

Weberwiese residential tower, Berlin-Friedrichshain; 1951; architects: Hermann Henselmann, Rolf Göpfert

Weberwiese residential tower, Berlin

Berlin-Friedrichshain, 1951
Architects: Hermann Henselmann, Rolf Göpfert

Blocks of flats on Luisenplatz, Berlin-Charlottenburg; 1989; architect: Hans Kollhoff

Blocks of flats on Luisenplatz, Berlin

Berlin-Charlottenburg, 1989
Architect: Hans Kollhoff

Single-Family Houses

Ungers House, Home and Library, Cologne; 1958 und 1989; architect: Oswald Mathias Ungers

Ungers House, Home and Library, Cologne

Cologne, 1958 und 1989
Architect: Oswald Mathias Ungers

Cinema 'Kosmos', Berlin-Friedrichshain; 1961 – 1962; architects: Josef Kaiser, Günter Kunert

Cinema 'Kosmos', Berlin

Berlin-Friedrichshain, 1961–1962
Architects: Josef Kaiser, Günter Kunert